Cultural, Travel

About the differences between Chinese and Western food

Hello everyone it’s me, Xavier, again!

Today I would like to talk about the difference between Chinese food and Western food. If you talk about food with a Chinese person, I can promise you that she/he will be so proud of Chinese food.

Because the history of Chinese cuisine stretches back for many centuries and changed from period to period, there is a big variety. It makes Chinese very proud to have such a wide range of food. Major traditional cuisines include: Anhui, Cantonese, Fujian, Hunan, Jiangsu, Shandong, Szechuan, and Zhejiang cuisine. The three main criteria for good Chinese food are: colour, aroma and taste. In my opinion, the most popular Chinese food would be Cantonese food! Maybe some Western people don’t know what is Cantonese food but if I tell you guys: yumcha, Barbecue pork, rostra pork, Barbecue duck, Wonton, all this stuff you can see and eat in Chinatown actually comes from Canton.

So, what is the difference between Chinese food and Western food?

Preparing food

Chinese food is different from Western food by the way we prepare food before cooking. Chinese cut the ingredients in bite size then stir fry or steam the ingredients in short time while Westerners cook the ingredients in big pieces and cut the food on their plates with knives and forks.

There are some ingredients or seasonings in Chinese cuisine which are seldomly used in Western cuisine, like e.g. jelly fish, sea cucumber, shark fins, fish maw, bird’s nest, thousand year eggs, bean curd (tofu), oyster sauce, black bean sauce, salty shrimp paste, soy sauce, etc. On the other hand, in Western cuisine herbs like rosemary, dill, sage, oregano, thyme, tarragon etc. are added. You would normally not find these herbs in Chinese food. Chinese add ginger, spring onion, mint, coriander and white pepper. You can hardly find any traditional Chinese food that contains cheese, butter, cream or milk.

Going wild

Secondly, the Chinese kitchen is a lot wilder than the Western.

It seems that the preparing of Western-style food is more peaceful: What you buy is only the fish lump where you can’t distinguish anymore which kind of fish it is, even crab may have been already boiled, what you can do is to put them into the oven or the pan.

But if you take a look into a Chinese kitchen, it seems really wild. Chicken, duck and fish are cut in the kitchen. The kitchen is full of the glint of kitchen knifes. Ha-ha! I feel it is like a battle field.

The tableware of Western-style food is knife and fork, the tableware of Chinese food is only two simple small bamboo sticks — Chopsticks. So, I think the tableware of Western-style food is wilder than the tableware of Chinese food.

Chinese vs. Western Pasta?


InternChina – Noodles vs. Pasta

Thirdly, the way that Chinese and people from occidental countries praise food is different

Chinese who are praising food will generally say: “Your dish is cooked excellently, it just tastes like in the restaurant”; but when Westerners praise food, they will say that it’s just tasting like home-made food.

In fact, Chinese food and Western-style food have a lot of similar things, especially Italian food and Chinese food. Because Marco Polo took Chinese pie and noodles to Italy, the Pasta and Pizza appeared in Italy.

Even if there are some differences between Chinese food and Western-style food, I think Chinese food and Western-style food can get along harmoniously. For example, Chinese food overseas is suitable for oversea people’s taste, because of oversea people’s improvement. Similarly, the Western-style food in China is more suitable for Chinese taste, because of the Chinese improvement.

Certainly, if you want to eat the traditional Western-style food, you should go to western countries. If you want to eat traditional Chinese food: Welcome to China!!!